Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?

The core of Elsevier’s operation is in scientific journals, the weekly or monthly publications in which scientists share their results. Despite the narrow audience, scientific publishing is a remarkably big business. With total global revenues of more than £19bn, it weighs in somewhere between the recording and the film industries in size, but it is far more profitable. In 2010, Elsevier’s scientific publishing arm reported profits of £724m on just over £2bn in revenue. It was a 36% margin – higher than Apple, Google, or Amazon posted that year.
From Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? | Science | The Guardian

What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us?

According to scholar Christine Jenkins, people who try to censor texts often hold a set of false assumptions about how reading works. One of those assumptions is that particular literary content (like positive portrayals of witchcraft) will invariably produce particular effects (more witches in real life). Another is that reactions to a particular text are likely to be consistent across readers. In other words, if one reader finds a passage scary, funny or offensive, the assumption is that other readers invariably will do so as well.
From What do protests about Harry Potter books teach us? - Salon.com

Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91

A statement from publisher HarperCollins said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Michael Bond, CBE, the creator of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s characters, Paddington, died at home yesterday aged 91 following a short illness.”
From Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91 | Books | The Guardian
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Company removed LNG pipeline documents from Oregon public libraries

"In my position as reference librarian, I'm completely bipartisan and can't take sides. My job is to make public information available to my community. It is my job to serve Jordan Cove and the anti-LNG community. We represent all viewpoints," he said. "What I'm most upset about is the unprofessional way the materials were taken."
From Pamplin Media Group - Company removed LNG pipeline documents from public libraries
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Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest

To that end, when designing for the future, perhaps the most important feature of all is not an architectural element, but the site itself. In recent years, both the NYPL and the Brooklyn Public Library have addressed funding shortages by selling off branches in pricey neighborhoods and replacing them with smaller, partially subterranean libraries in the base of the towers that take their place. The new 53rd Street library, for example, which New York architecture critic Justin Davidson referred to as “a sleek but shrunken pit” may have many clever elements, but lacks the light and space of its predecessor.
From Future of Libraries in the Digital Age | Architectural Digest
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Bear is a novel about a lonely librarian in who enters into a sexual relationship with a bear

Bear is a novel by Canadian author Marian Engel, published in 1976. It won the Governor General's Literary Award the same year. It is Engel's fifth novel, and her most famous. The story tells of a lonely librarian in northern Ontario who enters into a sexual relationship with a bear. The book has been called "the most controversial novel ever written in Canada".[1]
From Bear (novel) - Wikipedia

1979 Computer Store Manager Predicts Future

I recently found this interview in my archives. I was shooting a documentary called “The Information Society” in 1979 and filmed this in Cedar Rapids Iowa. Compushop had just begun selling the Apple II and this guy had a keen sense of what was coming.
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TSA tells travelers to take books out of carry-on bags

Federal airport security officials have begun asking travelers to take books and food out of their carry-on luggage, prompting some fliers to complain about a further invasion of the limited privacy they have left at checkpoints. Transportation Security Administration officials say they are taking the steps on a test basis at a handful of airports nationally mainly because carry-on bags are getting so stuffed that screening agents at x-ray machines are have a hard time seeing what’s in the bags.
From TSA tells travelers to take food, books out of carry-on bags | The Sacramento Bee
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Salt Lake City Public Library hostage incident

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Sends You Letters about Your Medical Condition

This is the hidden underside of the browsing experience. When you’re surfing the web, sitting alone at your computer or with your smartphone clutched in your hand, it feels private and ephemeral. You feel freed to look for the things that you’re too embarrassed or ashamed to ask another person. But increasingly, there is digital machinery at work turning your fleeting search whims into hard data trails. The mining of secrets for profit is done invisibly, shrouded in the mystery of “confidential partnerships,” “big data,” and “proprietary technology.” People in databases don’t know that dossiers are being compiled on them, let alone have the chance to correct any mistakes in them.
From How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Sends You Letters about Your Medical Condition

US court grants Elsevier millions in damages from Sci-Hub

One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.

Full article at Nature.com

Woman says Librarians Know Who Hit her Car but Can't Tell Her

The alleged perp checked out a book and thus the staff was unable to give her the name of the driver.

Here's the story from WSBTV in Atlanta. The woman whose car was hit feels as if she's being unfairly discriminated against.

Ukrainian Librarian Punished for Not Sticking to the Party Line

Interesting story from the New York Times last week.

MOSCOW — A Russian court on Monday sentenced a former director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow to a four-year suspended prison term for inciting hatred toward Russians and embezzling public funds, in a case that her lawyers described as an attack on cultural figures with ties to Ukraine.

The court ruled that Natalia G. Sharina (whose library has since been closed) purchased anti-Russian books and other materials and put them on the library’s shelves to help Ukrainian nationalists get a foothold in Moscow. Her lawyers said that they would appeal the sentence in Russian courts and also seek redress in the European Court of Human Rights.

When in Rome...

...visit a library! Not only a feast for the mind but also for the eye.

New York Times has a lovely feature on Italian libraries and their treasures, inside and out.

The Cruelest Cut

The Missoulian has a report on the slashing of the budget for Talking Books in Montana libraries.

The proposed cuts merge the Talking Book Library and eliminate the program’s director and one of three reader’s advisers.

Museum dedicated to Dr. Seuss opens in Massachusetts

The museum dedicated to Theodor Geisel — who under the pen name Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated dozens of rhyming children's books including "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham" — features interactive exhibits, artwork never before displayed publicly and explains how his childhood experiences in the city about 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Boston shaped his work. Full article
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After Words with Senator Ben Sasse

On C-Span BookTV

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) talked about his book The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance, in which he looks at how to engage adolescents and young adults to become independent, active, and engaged citizens. He was interviewed by Steven Olikara.
See video here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?428117-2/words-senator-ben-sasse
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What should we keep?

In which John looks at the one photograph of his 23-year-old self, considers what to keep from life, and wonders what (if anything) from nerdfighteria should be professionally archived. Also considered: Whether there will be humans for much longer, digitial archiving efforts, and what pictures do.

John was contacted by a librarian and that is one reason behind the creation of this video.

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The Denver Library--An Unofficial Homeless Shelter?

From Colorado Public Radio a piece about the main library and how staff are trying to safeguard library visitors.

One person recently died in the library bathroom from a drug overdose. That inspired the library to began a program to instruct staff how to administer the drug antidote, Narcan.

"A lot of the root causes of the behaviors that are finding their way through our doors are happening throughout Denver, and that's daunting,” said Chris Henning, communications manager for the Denver Public Library. “We're trying to do what we can do specifically for our facilities to make sure they're safe. And at the same time, help the city address these bigger problems. These societal problems however we can to try and make an impact on that, because they're just coming at us at a rate that we have not seen before."

It's Out! This is What a Librarian Looks Like

From The Huffington Post news of the publication of This Is What a Librarian Looks Like by Kyle Cassidy.

Kudos to the authors and the participants! Tell us your thoughts about participating and the finished product in the comments below.

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